Tonight we have a positive update on a COVID-19 patient whose life has been devastated by the virus. KELOLAND News first brought you Nathan Foote’s story early last month. Foote, a previously healthy 42-year-old, was in need of a double lung transplant after getting sick with COVID-19.
“Just so you all know, this ain’t a joke. I’m not going home. I’m going to die in this room right here,” Nathan Foote said in a Facebook Live video on January 4th.
That’s what Nathan Foote believed on January 4th when he went live on Facebook from his room at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. COVID-19 damaged his lungs so severely, he needed two more and he didn’t know if he would even make the transplant list.
“I was literally sitting there waiting for death to come comfort me, you know. Now I feel strongly I’m going to make it; it’s changed. This place has gave me so much confidence, there is no other option, but to survive.”Nathan Foote, waiting for a double lung transplant
That place is the University of Minnesota Medical Center, where Foote was taken on January 17th to undergo testing to see if he is eligible for a transplant.
“The flight team was there within moments and they got him strapped in and ready to go and they ended up flying him by plane to the University of Minnesota that night,” Angie Foot, Nathan’s wife, said.
Foote underwent five days of rigorous medical testing to make sure his body could withstand such a surgery. And the news is good. He is now on the regional transplant list.
“We wait; just because he’s 21 on the list doesn’t mean he might not be the next one to get lungs. It’s based on a matching system,” Angie said.
“Some have waited only 48 hours. Some have waited a month. It’s not a set time, but they were like ‘we will get you lungs. So don’t worry about it, we will make sure you get a pair of lungs,” Nathan said.
Saturday marked 90 days since Foote was first hospitalized and it was Angie’s first chance to visit him in Minneapolis. She remained in Sioux Falls to work and care for the couple’s five children.
“There’s a lot of hope that the next person will be his match,” Angie said
“I’m not dying. I’m coming out of this alive. I’ll be back, Nathan said.
The Footes say after our original story they heard from people all over the United States and were encouraged by stories of others who had undergone double lung transplants. It can cost up to $1 million. The is a GoFundMe page for the family.